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What did you have to sacrifice in order to pursue a career in the medical field? If you could go back in time, would there be anything you would do differently?

I am currently a junior in high school and even though I am interested in having a career in the medical field, I feel like I am unaware of what I'm potentially getting myself into. I want to feel prepared for what is to come!

#medicine #healthcare #college


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Ashlee’s Answer

Hi Bao-Truc! I would encourage you to focus on what you'd gain by being in this field rather than what you'd sacrifice. The medical profession is a very rewarding and stable career that allows you to help people. With that being said, whenever you start attending a University consistently meet with your Faculty/Academic Advisor to be mindful of application deadlines and volunteer hours. In addition, be aware of burnout. You're going to be studying a lot, so I always recommend going outside, eating, sleeping, exercising, and seeing your friends/family regularly (a lot of students forget to take care of themselves during this process). I hope this helps :) and remember you can do it!

Hi Ashlee R! Thank you so much for taking your time to reply to me! I will make sure to use your advice and will try to focus on what I would gain from now on! Bao-Truc T.

You can do it!!! Ashlee R.

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Richard’s Answer

There are a lot of long hours studying in the library followed by long hours in the hospital, but it is a fulfilling career. There are so many opportunities after medical school... different specialties appeal to different individuals. Or you can follow a nonclinical route in research or even hospital administration.

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Candace’s Answer

Bao-Truc,

Thank you for the question. I have been a practicing physician for 20 years. Medicine is a great career, however, there is sacrifice involved in attending medical school. During your time in medical school, your focus will be going to class and studying. Realistically, you are giving up much of your 20’s for Medicine. But anything worth doing requires sacrifice. I have enjoyed my career in medicine and have loved the flexibility of Medicine as a career which has included private practice, inpatient medicine, community health, urgent care, prison medicine, and working for the military which is my current job. When the time comes, do what is best for you. If you continue on the path to medicine, consider investing in some business classes as medical school and residency don’t teach you that part, and you will need it once you complete training and have to review contracts for job offers. Business classes will also benefit you if you plan to start your own practice. Wishing you great success.

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Heather’s Answer

I agree with Ashlee in not focusing on what you will give up for going through medical professional because to be honest all is worth it in the end. I work as a RN, worked throughout as a sexual assault advocate during Nursing school which was my 2nd degree. During that time frame I gave up many times with my family to study as I have the responsibility of other people lives in my hands as I watch and take care of them; be their advocate when they are not able too.

When you go to college determine what area do you want to go into? Medicine? Nursing? Volunteer to see what fits you. Ask questions.

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Rachel’s Answer

I completed a general surgery residency prior to becoming a colorectal surgeon. Working 80+ hours a week and trying to balance that with a family is difficult. It is worth the sacrifice, but still difficult. My biggest sacrifice was spending every third night on call away from my newborn baby her first year of life. Those are times that you don't get back.

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Elaina’s Answer

Hi Bao-Truc,

What areas of medicine are you interested in? In high school, I had limited knowledge of my options--I thought it was either a doctor, nurse or dentist! Explore therapy (physical, occupational, speech), nursing, physician's assistant programs, hospital management, etc. and see what might be a good fit, and then see if you can observe/shadow to get a better idea of the day to day work.

I agree with other posters, you will have to work hard to get through school but in medicine/healthcare you will often find good job security, flexibility (i.e. easy to move between job types/settings within one field) and a sense of reward/purpose that will sustain you through the tough times that all jobs naturally have.

Best of luck to you! :)

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Estelle’s Answer

Becoming a gynecologist required 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school, and 4 years of residency. I sacrificed time with my family and sleep. The sacrifices were well worth the job satisfaction and job security. I can't think of a way to go about the process differently, but if I could go back, I would try to worry less about the future .

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